Organizations such as the Texas Medical Association provide free printable medical power of attorney forms. The purpose of this form is to assign medical decision-making to another person, in the event that person becomes unable to complete those decisions, notes Texas Medical Association.
The person surrendering rights to make medical decisions is known as the principal, and the person to whom he transfers those rights is the agent. The medical power of attorney form becomes effective once it is completed and the agent receives it. It remains in effect until the principal becomes competent again, the form is revoked or it has an expiration date. The principal's physician has to file a certification of incompetence for the principal in his medical record, as stated by Texas Medical Association.
Whether the principal is competent or not, the agent may not force any treatment to be withheld from or given to the principal if the principal objects. The agent does have considerable discretion when consenting to treatments. However, in the state of Texas, an agent may not consent to abortion, psychosurgery, convulsive treatment, commitment to a mental institution or neglect of care given for comfort, according to Texas Medical Association. It is important to be aware of the limits that one's own state places on the medical power of attorney.